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Subject: learning objects and DITA - some starting points for discussion

To DITA learning content SC -

To help kick off our review of structured designs for learning and how to apply DITA principles and best practices, here's a starting list of links.

Feel free to add comments, more links, and other thoughts. Thanks to Erik Hennum for providing some of these links.

For our meeting this Thursday, I'll pull together an overview presentation, which I'll get out by sometime tomorrow. In the meantime, the links under 1, 2, and 3 below provide good starting points.


1) John Hunt and Bob Bernard articles on a DITA specialization design and content pilot.
My starting point on this topic, published last summer, on IBM developerWorks.


2) CISCO Systems Reusable Object Strategy
One of the seminal white papers on reusable learning objects from CISCO. Identifies five core content types - Concept, Fact, Procedure, Process, Principle - and combines them with Overview, Summary, Practice, Assessment as the basis for an RLO - reusable learning object.


3) Reusable Learning Objects- What does the future hold? by Peder Jacobsen (LTI Newsline, 2001)
Provides a readable overview of RLOs and XML-based technologies.


4) Thinking XML: Learning Objects Metadata by Uche Obguji (developerWorks, 2003)
A very useful summary of the SCORM-standard Learning Object Metadata (LOM), how to represent it with XML, and connection to RDF.


5) Course Generation Based on HTN Planning by Carsten Ullrich
A technically dense, but very interesting approach to applying hierarchical task analysis to planning and describing learning objects, and how to apply to different learning needs and goals.


Suggests a general approach for describing the structure of learning "tasks" as a "structured sequence of learning objects that help the learner to understand the content goal." An HTN for teaching a concept includes content to introduce, develop, practice, connect, and reflect.


John Hunt
IBM DITA Learning Architect

WPLC/Education Development | IBM Software Group

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